Pornography, The Cure's 1982 release, is probably the one that goes furthest from their usual path. While nearly all of The Cure's music could be described as melancholy or depressing, there are always one or two songs per album which approach manic in their happiness, and even the saddest of their songs seem to have a hint of hope in them. But not here; the primary emotion expressed in these 8 songs is complete despair. The final, and title, track is full of dissonant noise, metallic screams, a steady drumbeat, and over it all, Robert Smith singing lyrics like "One more day like today and I'll kill you". The other tracks are much easier to listen to, but all of them, at least to me, bring up the images of terrible pain and loneliness.

A lot of the later work by The Cure can be seen in this album, especially in "The Figurehead" and "A Strange Day". The pop feel you get from Boys Don't Cry is not here at all. I'll be honest, I'm terrible at describing any kind of music or art in a way that makes any kind of sense, but Pornography feels like a turning point for Robert Smith, with later works seeming significantly more mature than the earlier Cure albums.

I first picked this album up in high school, from some little shop in Corvallis that was boarded up a month later. Being an angst filled 15 year old, it affected me a lot, not to mention turning me into a Cure fan. Personally, I can't imagine listening to this unless I'm alone, and in fact I don't listen to it too often these days. These are the songs for when I'm feeling so down that Portishead and Depeche Mode feel like sugarcoated pop. Which hasn't been often since I hit my 20s; I'm super, thanks for asking. This is a fantastic thing to have around for those times when you are feeling your worst; your wonderful SO has cruelly dumped you, a friend stabs you in the back, or you just feel so alone you don't know what to do. It won't make you feel better, but at least it will help remind you that other people have felt just as awful about their lives, which isn't much of a consolation, but every little thing helps.

Track listing:

  1. One Hundred Years (6:40)
  2. Short Term Effect (4:22)
  3. Hanging Garden (4:33)
  4. Siamese Twins (5:29)
  5. The Figurehead (6:15)
  6. A Strange Day (5:04)
  7. Cold (4:26)
  8. Pornography (6:27)